Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Amendment 63 could shut down college health services

Three University of Colorado regents announced Tuesday they oppose Amendment 63 because it would shut down student health services provided at state colleges and universities.

It's just one of many reasons to oppose Amendment 63, a complex, costly and partisan measure that would have none of its intended effects but could severely damage Colorado's ability to ensure residents have access to health care.

For details about the regents' position, read the release on the Colorado Deserves Better website.


Anonymous said...

What a bunch of nonsense. First, it is ObamaCare that threatens the college minimed plans as was widely reported this month.

Second, colleges typically operate independently of the state. Even if they don't, the colleges can choose to subsidize the student health services and include the price in tuition or fees.

Third, student health services will continue to exist as long as students voluntarily buy their products.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. Attendance at college is voluntary. If the student health service is included in tuition and someone chooses to go to a college that is that as long as the college doesn't force people to go there which they don't at present anyway.

Besides, ObamaCare has already put paid to the college mini-med plans as was widely reported this month.

Colorado Center on Law and Policy said...

Thanks for your comments. I think the CU regents address most of your points in the news release, but perhaps we can drill down to the details a little bit here.

As with many potential effects of Amendment 63, this issue would likely be sorted out in court if the measure passes. Still, there's clearly cause for concern about the financial viability of student health and mental health services under Amendment 63.

As the news release notes, Amendment 63 prohibits the state from requiring “any person directly or indirectly to participate in any public or private health insurance plan, health coverage plan, health benefit plan, or similar plan.”

If colleges subsidize student health services and include the price in tuition and fees (as they do now), that could be interpreted as an indirect requirement to participate in a health insurance plan, which Amendment 63 would prohibit.

Many students would go without insurance, driving up the cost for those who maintain coverage. Some of the uninsured students would ultimately need care, which would be unaffordable without insurance, and the cost of providing that care would again be shifted to those who have insurance in the form of higher premiums.

The second comment notes college attendance is voluntary. But it's unlikely the proponents of Amendment 63 would view public colleges, agencies of the state, as outside the amendment's authority.

Again, if Amendment 63 passes it's an issue that's likely to be litigated at considerable taxpayer expense.

Perry Swanson
Communications director
Colorado Center on Law and Policy